Posts tagged "The NY TImes"

Another Week Ends: Self-Making Atheists, Structural Dating, Indiscriminate Addiction, Christian Metal, Guilty Pleasures, and Failed Figure Skaters

Another Week Ends: Self-Making Atheists, Structural Dating, Indiscriminate Addiction, Christian Metal, Guilty Pleasures, and Failed Figure Skaters

1. In The New Yorker, Adam Gopnik took the release of two new books about the history of atheism to issue one of his periodic ‘state of modern belief” pieces. Most of the word count is devoted to the question of when the burden of proof definitively shifted from atheists to believers (The Onion weighs in here), and while there are certainly some interesting tidbits, one can’t help but be distracted by: first, wasn’t the exact opposite thing was being said five years ago?, and second, the dichotomy he embraces from one of the books is downright weird, at least…

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Online-Only Love Affairs (in a Utopian Dystopia)

Online-Only Love Affairs (in a Utopian Dystopia)

Last weekend, a few of us descended on Louisville, KY, where we were invited to discuss the, er, age-old question “What Would Jesus Tweet?”. It was a wonderful time (Thank you, STIF!) with a terrific group of people, and by and large I was pleased with how the presentations went. We’ll have the files available soon. Still, I was reminded of how tricky the subject of technology and social media actually is. It’s just so incredibly easy to come of as a Luddite! When you describe the emotional and spiritual fallout that certain modes of technology are catalyzing, no matter…

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Another Week Ends: Wealth Addiction, Bieber/Britney Compassion, Friends Generation, True Detective, Grand Theft Auto, Better Praise and Conference Calls

Another Week Ends: Wealth Addiction, Bieber/Britney Compassion, Friends Generation, True Detective, Grand Theft Auto, Better Praise and Conference Calls

1. This one really deserves a post of its own. So much writing about Wall Street greed has the air of jealousy and pettiness around it. Nothing’s an easier target or more convenient prop for self-righteousness than a corporate cog (i.e. “I may not be swimming in it, but at least I believe in something–at least my work has meaning–unlike all those soulless automatons I knew in college who are chasing the almighty dollar. How do they live with themselves?!”). Which is part of what makes Sam Polk’s “For The Love of Money” column in The NY Times last week…

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Another Year Ends: Best Teacher Ever, Instagram Envy, Tyson on Kierkegaard, Elf Code Origins, Johnny Football, DFW Cobainification, Atheist Gospel

Another Year Ends: Best Teacher Ever, Instagram Envy, Tyson on Kierkegaard, Elf Code Origins, Johnny Football, DFW Cobainification, Atheist Gospel

1. Grab your kleenex, cause here comes the one way love, ht JZ:

2. The NY Times lobbed one straight over the plate last Sunday with “The Agony of Instagram,” a look into “an online culture where the ethic is impress, rather than confess.” It’s fairly one-sided of course–Instagram is just as much an outlet for inspiration and creativity as it is identity curation and law–but still, a few of the soundbites are just too tempting not to reproduce:

For many urban creative professionals these days, it’s not unusual to scroll through one’s Instagram feed and feel suffocated by fabulousness: There’s…

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Another Week Ends: Life Stories, Vacation Days, Literary Grace, Curved In Worship, Baby Morality, Sleepy Hollow and Eagleton on Moz

Another Week Ends: Life Stories, Vacation Days, Literary Grace, Curved In Worship, Baby Morality, Sleepy Hollow and Eagleton on Moz

1. We’ve spoken before about why we so often feel the need to conceive of our lives as a narrative of progress or upward-sloping trajectory. We’ve tried to highlight the dangers this poses, especially when the progress is understood to be moral or spiritual in nature. An instinct that can sometimes help us make sense of our lives (and we need all the help we can get!), when left unchecked can end up obscuring reality (where God is) and compounding loneliness. On The Huffington Post, Carolyn Gregoire explores this phenomenon in some detail, particularly in relation to Dan McAdams’ new…

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Apocalyptic Box Offices and Sanctified Darwinism

Apocalyptic Box Offices and Sanctified Darwinism

A thought-provoking if fairly depressing essay from Steve Almond appeared in the NY Times Magazine last week, “The Apocalypse Market Is Booming.” As anyone with a television will tell you, in the years since we last checked in on this trend in any substantial way, the amount of eschatalogical fantasies being peddled by Hollywood has only ballooned. In fact, this past summer it almost seemed as if there were more apocalypse-themed movies at the multiplex than non-apocalypse-themed ones (World War Z, Oblivion, After Earth, This Is The End, The World’s End, etc). But Almond goes beyond the usual analyses, theorizing…

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Binging on Bags of Popcorn, or Misadventures in Hate-Viewing (and Reading)

Binging on Bags of Popcorn, or Misadventures in Hate-Viewing (and Reading)

A pretty relevant article appeared in The NY Times the other day on the phenomenon of “hate-reading/-watching”, courtesy of novelist Teddy Wayne. Not much to say on the subject that we haven’t said elsewhere, either when asking why we’re so obsessed with that person from sixth grade or contemplating “87 percent of our mental life.” Suffice it to say, the (short-lived) self-esteem boost we get from gaping in disbelief at the unenlightened online or on cable or in a tabloid is the inverse of the self-recrimination we feel when looking at those who seem to have it all together in…

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Marital Expectations and Baby Bottle Cleanliness

Marital Expectations and Baby Bottle Cleanliness

“I have waited my whole life to be oppressed” admits Lynn Messina in the opening line of her incredible Modern Love column that appeared in the Times this past Sunday. In “Chained to Hearth or Warmed by It?” she comes clean about the ramifications that her yearning for victimhood–or predilection for self-pity (aka justification by suffering)–has had in her relationship with her husband. But it is also a story of grace triumphing over law in a very visceral sense. Some might say the writing is on the wall when Lynn describes her pre-parenthood agreement with her husband, Chris. Because he…

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We’ve Only Just Begun? The Law of Legacy and the Club of Hundred

We’ve Only Just Begun? The Law of Legacy and the Club of Hundred

The other day, I was asked a question that I dread. We were talking about Mockingbird, but the query would have inspired just as much trepidation if it had been concerned with my parenting or marriage. I was asked what success might look like. I’ll spare you my answer (which wasn’t really an answer). The exchange brought to mind an enlightening and brief essay that appeared in The NY Times a couple of weeks ago, Phillip Lopate’s “Midlist Crisis”, in which he laments his station as good-but-not-great writer, someone who has experienced a fair amount success but never that one…

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Wheels of Worry, Everyday Trauma, and the First Day of School

Wheels of Worry, Everyday Trauma, and the First Day of School

“Trauma is not just the result of major disasters. It does not happen to only some people. An undercurrent of trauma runs through ordinary life, shot through as it is with the poignancy of impermanence. I like to say that if we are not suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, we are suffering from pre-traumatic stress disorder… One way or another, death (and its cousins: old age, illness, accidents, separation and loss) hangs over all of us. Nobody is immune. Our world is unstable and unpredictable, and operates, to a great degree and despite incredible scientific advancement, outside our ability to…

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Another Week Ends: A-n-x-i-e-t-y, Assurance, and the Post-Apocalypse

Another Week Ends: A-n-x-i-e-t-y, Assurance, and the Post-Apocalypse

1) As if teenage parenting isn’t hard enough, Huffpost’s recent, “What Really Happens on a Teen Girl’s Smartphone” uncovers a whole new world of social cues for teens to follow in the digital age. It’s more than the simple “Thou Shalt Have an iPhone,” though that’s certainly part of it. It’s a life lived for likes, favorites, and retweets- social pressure and conformance anxiety abuzz in one’s front pocket:

“Not having an iPhone can be social suicide, notes Casey. One of her friends found herself effectively exiled from their circle for six months because her…

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Another Week Ends: Forgiveness, Giving Trees, Therapists, and Aging with Grace

Another Week Ends: Forgiveness, Giving Trees, Therapists, and Aging with Grace

1. Forgiveness and apology seems to be a theme in the news as of late, or at least it was prior to Monday’s heartbreaking news from Boston. CNN’s belief blog highlighted the story of one man’s quest to forgive and restore the man who killed his brother when they were teens. I found the story enlightening as it ping-ponged between the two poles of forgiveness by grace (the victim’s brother) and forgiveness by works righteousness (the recently released killer). Quote: “I think for me, forgiveness will come in doing good works, trying to help others. But as far as forgiving…

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